Someone remarked that Mr. Narendra Modi echoed my view. For many years this writer has been propagating that the Congress party should be buried and consigned to the dustbin of history. Much more recently Mr. Narendra Modi has started demanding a “Congress-free India ”. One does not for a moment suggest that he was inspired by anything written by this writer. One seriously doubts if he is aware of this writer’s existence or has ever read any of his articles. Nevertheless the use of a similarly worded demand might confuse people into thinking that there is similarity of views between Mr. Modi and this writer. Since this is not the case this writer might be excused for clarifying the difference in order to do justice to the holders of both views.
When Mr. Modi talks about a ‘Congress-free India’ (Congress-Mukt Bharat) he seems to indicate that he seeks the defeat of the Congress party led by Mrs. Sonia Gandhi at the polls. He is by no stretch of imagination questioning the historic role of the Congress. Had that been the case he would not have made Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel his role model and hero. His demand for a ‘Congress-free India’ therefore is mild and moderate compared to the demand reiterated by this writer.
To appreciate this writer’s views one can do no better than recall what on March 29, 2006 he wrote in these columns:
“The seeds of the decadent and dynastic Congress culture were planted a century ago. From Allen Octavian Hume to Sonia Gandhi, spanning icons like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, it has been a history of decline and abject subservience to foreigners. The Congress degenerated from a movement to a party, from a party to a dynasty. Today India stands on the threshold of a new multipolar world. To play its rightful role it will have to undo the spirit of the Partition. Can the Congress, the very instrument of imperialist Britain to partition the subcontinent, summon the mindset to undo its own work? It has outlived its role. It must be consigned to the dustbin of history. India needs a new party, a new culture and a new freedom struggle.”
One believes that it was realization of this truth, earned through painful experience that persuaded Mahatma Gandhi on the last day of his life to demand formally in his written last will and testament that the Congress party should be dissolved as a political organization. Let Congress leaders thrive, but from a different platform.
Had Mr. Modi held similar views as this writer he would have sought means and formulated policies to reclaim India’s historic brotherhood with the peoples of Pakistan and Bangladesh. He has done not such thing. He would not have glossed over Sardar Patel’s personal role in promoting the Partition of the subcontinent to hail him as the symbol of national unity to be honoured by erecting the world’s tallest statue. Mr. Modi’s views are very moderate, and doubtless much more acceptable to the majority of the people, than are the views of this writer. For the record I think it fair to both Mr. Modi and this writer, regardless of the difference in our respective standings, to clarify the difference in our views.